AM signals: autonomous vehicles meet snow, stock selloff could boost cloud, graphene tunes THz QCL

Jan. 22, 2016

Ford is testing autonomous vehicles in snow. Automotive Testing Technology International quotes Jim McBride, Ford technical leader for autonomous vehicles, as saying, “It’s one thing for a car to drive itself in perfect weather. It’s quite another to do so when the car’s sensors can’t see the road because it’s covered in snow. Weather isn’t perfect, and that’s why we’re testing autonomous vehicles in wintry conditions.” Some of the tests are taking place at Mcity.

The recent stock market selloff could offer investment opportunities as the valuations of some younger companies, like Box Inc., plummets. Robert McMillan in the Wall Street Journal writes, “The business-technology industry’s biggest players have been struggling to adjust to broader changes like the shift from on-premises data centers to cloud computing delivered over the Internet. Buying smaller, cash-poor public companies—which the recent selloff has made much cheaper—could help them deliver new-breed products and services.”

Researchers at the University of Manchester have used graphene to actively tune the output of a terahertz quantum cascade laser (QCL). Steve Bush at Electronics Weekly writes, “This is the first time live control over the output spectrum of QCLs has been demonstrated, and it could lead to real-world applications.” He adds, “Physically, a QCL is a stack of quantum wells—in this case GaAlAs-GaAs quantum wells grown by molecular beam epitaxy.”

Charter Communications is facing headwinds in its effort to buy two other cable companies. Brendan Sasso in National Journal writes, “The ‘Stop Mega Cable Coalition, made up of Dish Network, the U.S. Telecom Association, Public Knowledge, the Consumers Union, and others, will try to persuade regulators and members of Congress to oppose the merger between Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.”

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